Flash Fiction(s) – The Smudge & Ashes

The following are two flash fiction stories written using one word writing prompts: smudge and ash. I’m putting them together for two reasons. One, they are both very short. Two, I don’t want to overload everyone with too many posts.I intend to write a new story almost every day so hopefully they will add up and putting them together seems more reasonable. There will be no planned themes for the pieces I put into each post. As you’ll see these two pieces couldn’t be more different.

The Smudge

There it was – the smudge. She’d known the risk, yet convinced herself the precious work was safe in her betrothed’s hands.

As Frederick read the words she’d painstakingly set down on the thick parchment she fidgeted and fretted.

When he handed it back he praised her lavishly. She could see the pride in his eyes; he meant every word. Her heart swelled with love for him. But the smudge drew her eyes.

Later she rewrote her poem from memory. Regret filled her. It would be impossible to salvage the original. The blood would never come out and parchment was expensive.

Rough draft: 100 words


Aur stood over the ashes of her lost home. Together, her and her life mate had built it with hard work and love. Zef selected only the highest quality materials and she brightened it with the finest decorations. It had been strong and beautiful. She hadn’t been dissatisfied to see the envy in her neighbor’s eyes when they admired the home’s perfection.

Now as Aur surveyed the destruction she couldn’t help but miss it. She turned, expecting Zef to be there to commiserate with her but he was somewhere in the ashes.

So, even though it saddened her to think of how things were before the fire, she stayed, and waited. Today was the third day and her patience would soon be rewarded. The ashes stirred and she could see a hint of light peeking through. Aur moved back quickly; she knew from long experience what would happen.

The remains of the nest exploded, debris barely missing her. Zef rose out of the ashes and spread his fiery wings. Aur stared in awe, as she had countless times before.

Zef shook himself and turned to her. “You look beautiful, my dear.”

She rolled her eyes. They both knew she looked a mess so close to her time. “Always the funny guy. Now, it’s my turn. Only the best wood, mind you. Go,” she said and shooed him away. With a beaky grin he flew off to fulfill his mate’s request.

Aur flew down to her stash tree and retrieved the silver thread, colorful buttons, and bits of shiny metal she kept there. This will do nicely, she thought. Then she prepared to die, yet again.

Rough draft: 275 words


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